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Barclay James  Harvest - Gone To Earth CD (album) cover


Barclay James Harvest


Crossover Prog

3.36 | 183 ratings

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3 stars Gone To Earth is another Barclay James Harvest album that's full of beautiful songs that don't seem all that adventurous. A fair amount of the material on this 1977 album reminds me of the kind of music that America (and sometimes even Paul McCartney and The Wings) was doing at the same time. Those looking for BJH's most progressive period should head for their first four albums and look out for tracks like Dark Now My Sky, She Said and Summer Soldier. Having said that, even the previous album Octoberon was distinctly more progressive.

Still, what soul can resist the lush, the beautiful sweeping acoustic ballad Hymn, even the Christianity-bashers will admit that this tune has a majestic feel to it. Or the strong symphonic moods that propel the aching Sea Of Tranquility (We sold our souls for senseless gain). And let's not forget that this is the album that actually contains the song Poor Man's Moody Blues, an ironic shot at critics who accused BJH of being just that. It's one of the last great tracks the band recorded, but be prepared for the similarity of the song to The Moody Blues' Nights In White Satin. It's a fine piece with great orchestration from Woody Wolstenholme, and indeed the most symphonic work on here.

The rest of the material is generally lighter, and seemingly aimed at getting some radio airplay. Love Is Like A Violin is the quintessential Wings like pop/rocker. Hard Hearted Woman is a superb commercial track that manages to have combine some progressive sounds and an infusion of both reggae and disco! Spirit On The Water, The Leper's Song and Taking Me Higher (despite the strong organ presence) are also really nice songs with nary a trace of progressive rock. It all really make you wonder why BJH never broke through to the mainstream.

There's lots of good music here, but it scarcely qualifies as progressive rock. ... 54% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 3/5 |


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